Producer spills on Bach in lockdown
A Channel 10 producer has lifted the lid on what happened when this season of The Bachelor was turned upside down by coronavirus.
As Wednesday's premiere revealed, the women vying for Locky Gilbert's heart were sent home during filming in March as lockdown measures were implemented nationwide.
Instead of the usual glamorous, cheeseboard-filled yacht dates, viewers will see the contestants get to know Gilbert via video call, as has become standard for dating in the COVID-19 age.
But while many fans may be puzzled by the thought of a digital courtship, executive producer Hilary Innes says it actually fostered stronger connections.
From the get-go, we've known this year's search for "The One" will be different from anything we've seen before thanks to the pandemic, but it hasn't stopped the West Australian travel tour company CEO from falling "madly in love".
In a first look at the season at the end of July, the 30-year-old also offered a tantalising hint at a proposal in the finale, saying he'd "love to get down on one knee at the end - I'm the kind of guy that would do it".
And it may actually all be thanks to the sudden lockdown.
Speaking to Media Week, Innes said that production shifting gears resulted in some "fascinating" moments throughout the season.
"Instead of stopping filming we continued to record what happened when everyone was sent home, which made for very fascinating viewing," she told the publication.
"There was obviously chemistry happening between some people and Locky and we needed to keep everyone engaged with the process and each other."
She added that filming away from Bachelor HQ provided an intimate look into the love story forming.
"Suddenly you break out of The Bachelor world and go into people's lives and seeing how they do things like making breakfast in their trackie dacks," she said.
"And it is a really interesting place to go and explore The Bachelor world from for a change. Everyone will relate to it because they are all going through it."
Speaking on The Project Wednesday night, Gilbert blushed as he was asked a very personal question about the lockdown situation's potential for nude photo exchanges by a prying Carrie Bickmore.
"I know that filming got shut down and it ended up being an extra long season, even though you couldn't be doing your pashing up in the helicopter, but they let you exchange numbers. Did you just text the whole time?" she first posed.
"We got each others numbers and as weird as it is, it was beneficial," Gilbert responded.
"I got to know the girls and really get to know them on a deeper level than with the candles and the lights and the craziness."
Going on to ask the question on everybody's lips, Bickmore followed with: "Are there any going to be pics that come out of this that you regret?"
"I don't regret anything," Gilbert replied with an uncomfortable laugh.
The Bachelor airs Wednesdays and Thursdays from 7.30pm on Channel 10.
Originally published as Producer spills on Bach in lockdown